Rupeek, an online marketplace for gold loans, raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Bertelsmann India. The funding also had the participation from existing investors Accel and Sequoia India.
Rupeek is working for bring transparency in the gold loans lending space. The company believes that it will help in the growth story of the company as it bring liquidity by monetizing idle gold.
The funding will be completed in two tranches. It will be used towards product development and market expansion, states the company source. Rupeek has disbursed gold loans at an annual run rate of more than $150 million and is growing 20% month-on-month.
Rupeek Founder and CEO Sumit Maniyar said he is really excited about the belief the investors who have have placed in Rupeek’s mission to monetize India’s gold efficiently. “As a brand, we would like to bring transparency in the lending space and protect retail investor interest at all costs. We will be using our proprietary tech hardware to ensure standardization, fairness, and scalability in gold purity assessment. The investment will also help us rapidly scale across new markets,” said Sumit Maniyar.
“We continue to disburse and grow the gold loans portfolio at a rapid pace. Being a platform, we have access to stable balance sheets of our trusted partner banks. With a product built keeping end customers in mind, our free 30 mins doorstep service with the trust of our partner banks is resonating very well with customers who are happily switching to us,” he said.
Rupeek, owned by financial technology company Rupeek Fintech Pvt Ltd, started its operation in 2015 by Sumit Maniyar and Ashwin Soni. The asset-backed online lending platform, Rupeek is disrupting traditional brick and mortar, lending models. Offering a 30 minutes doorstep service for gold loans, Rupeek’s platform offers on-demand pickup and return of the valuables while promising industry best safety standards.
The organized gold loan disbursal is maturing in India as customers are finding it is easy to raise money. According to a recent report, India’s organized gold loan market is estimated at $90 billion per annum. Also, India currently holds 27000 tonnes of gold worth more than $1 trillion, out of which only 6-7% is monetized through the organized market. The unorganized market is estimated to be three times the size of the organized gold loan market.
Currently, India imports 750 tonnes of gold annually without contributing to the GDP multiplier as most of the imported gold sits idle in the form of jewellery. Rupeek believes that gold loans can be an effective gold monetisation mechanism.
Rupeek brings the trust of banks at customer’s doorstep, with banks like Federal Bank and Karur Vysya Bank as its trusted lending partners. Rupeek currently operates in 8 cities including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore and is expanding fast pan India.
Bertelsmann India Investments Managing Director Pankaj Makkar said Rupeek is transforming the way gold loans are disbursed in India supported by state-of-the-art technology and an automated asset-light supply chain. “We are confident about Sumit and the team’s vision to establish Rupeek as the most trusted gold-loan brand in the country,” said Pankaj Makkar.
Accel Partner Anand Daniel said gold is integral to the Indian way of life and monetization of gold assets in the country represents a massive opportunity. “Rupeek is perfectly poised to capitalize on this unique opportunity based on its innovative business model. Sumit has assembled a stellar leadership team, and we are excited to continue partnering with them to create a truly disruptive fin-tech company,” said Anand Daniel.
Sequoia Capital India LLC Managing Director G V Ravishankar said the belief that Rupeek was uniquely positioned to disrupt the gold loan market is what led to Sequoia India’s early partnership with them. “Their efficient use of technology to scale the credit evaluation and disbursement process has resulted in over 10x growth in the last 12 months. Today, their business model is contributing significantly towards creating a strong value proposition for banks to provide credit access to small businesses at affordable rates,” adds G V Ravishankar.
Sequoia had invested $2 million in Rupeek In January 2017. The startup had raised $346,000 between 2015 and 2016 from investors like former Snapdeal chief product officer Anand Chandrasekaran, People Group founder Anupam Mittal , Freecharge founder Kunal Shah and former Flipkart chief technology officer Ravi Garikipati.
Accel also funded $6.83 million (around Rs 44 crore then) in February 2018. The venture capital firm put in $5 million, with Sequoia investing the remaining.